Cinnamon Buns

I have been wanting to make cinnamon buns for a really long time now, but I kept pushing it off. Why? Because yeast doughs intimidate me! I’ve mastered pizza dough, but everything else is pretty much hit or miss. More often than not, my breads come out tough/dense or taste too floury.

Today, however, my husband was home and able to watch the baby, so I decided to take advantage of that and finally make some. The dough came together perfectly in my stand mixer (thank goodness, because I really dislike kneading dough), and it rose beautifully. After that, it was just a matter of rolling it out, spreading on the filling (I found it worked best to spread it with my hands rather that a spatula), rolling it up, and cutting it into individual buns. Nothing too difficult there. A quick drizzle of glaze once it was baked, and they were done.

And my, oh my, they were fantastic! A soft moist bun, a generous amount of delicious filling, a sweet vanilla glaze. What’s not to love? I am so happy I finally made these! (I’m not going to mention how many of these I ate in one sitting…)

(Note: These are completely dairy-free, so they are perfect for anybody who can’t have milk.)

Cinnamon Buns

Dough:

1 cup plain soy milk

1/2 ounce (2 envelopes) active dry yeast

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine, softened, plus extra to grease the pan

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

Filling:

1 cup ( 2 sticks) margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons boiling water

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. To make the dough: Heat the soy milk until lukewarm. Pour into a large bowl and add the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar, and let sit 10 minutes. Add the flour, eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, margarine, and oil and mix well. knead using either a dough hook in a stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes or by hand until the dough comes together into a ball. Cover with plastic and let rise 1 hour.

2. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Place the margarine, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix with a whisk or beat with an electric mixer until smooth. set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take a piece of parchment paper about 2-feet long and place on your work surface. Sprinkle with some flour. Place the dough on the floured parchment, sprinkle with some more flour, and roll it into a 15 x 24-inch rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling all over the dough, all the way to the edges.

4. Roll up the dough beginning with the long side of the rectangle, so you end up with a log about 24 inches long. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 1-inch slices. You can bake these 2 ways.

5. To make soft, pan sized buns (that’s what I did), grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with some margarine. Place the buns in the pan with the cinnamon swirl-side up. Bake for 40 minutes, or until browned on the outside edges.

6. To make individually baked buns with a slightly crunchy exterior, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment. Place the sliced buns cinnamon swirl-side up in the pans 3-inches apart. bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

7. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan (or on the cookie sheets) and prepare the glaze. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the boiling water and the vanilla. Whisk in another tablespoon of the boiling water and see if you have a thick, pourable glaze. If you think it is too thick, add another tablespoon of boiling water and whisk to combine. If you accidentally make it too thin, just add some more confectioners’ sugar. Use the whisk to drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon buns and enjoy.

Store covered in plastic at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

Makes about 24 buns

*Recipe adapted from Paula Shoyer